Wednesday, June 5, 2013


A couple of times a year I get to the point where I feel I am about to explode, for lack of a better term... Stressed out, pulled in all directions, that sort of feeling.
Right now I have been working 50 hour plus weeks, haven't had a full day off in well over a month, am still busy three nights a week volunteering (coaching soccer now, and with cubs) plus taking Karate once a week, also with the Relay for Life this Friday, plus all the usual crap which just has been piling on.
Times like these I tend to listen to a fair bit of music, to help me calm down, relax, and focus on what really matters. Here is one:

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Ascending to the Zenith

For the last couple of years, a nice young boy has gotten on the school bus with Rudi for the trip to school in Woodstock.  He is a nice little kid, perhaps seven years of age, with a nice young mom, a friendly, easygoing dad, and three little sisters. I don't often walk Rudi to the bus, but occasionally I do, and get to talk to the boy and either of his parents, just the usual friendly stuff, as I don't really know them that well.

A couple of months ago, another lady was waiting at the bus stop with the boy, and introduced herself as his grandmother. We chatted briefly, and the boy told me he had a sleepover at his grandmothers house, and really enjoyed it!

A week or so later, I again saw the boys mother, and told her that I had met the boys grandmother, and was wondering if it was her or her husband's mother. She replied that the boys grandmother actually the mother of the boys birth mother, who had passed away about five years ago...

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Descending to the Nadir...

About five years ago, I was driving south from Shakespeare to Tavistock, following a tractor trailer, on a bright, clear, sunny day. Without any warning, the truck ahead began braking hard, white smoke billowing out from the back wheels as his rear set of axles locked up. I was far enough behind, but still had to stand hard on my brakes to avoid rear ending the rig. Hazards clicked on, I moved to the right shoulder and stopped my van just behind the truck.
I walked along the shoulder to the front of the truck, and a scene of destruction and carnage was laid out before me. Two vehicles, both light coloured, as I recall, were scattered across the roadway, crushed and twisted. Contents of one or both of the vehicles was strewn in a roughly curved path, perhaps fifty or more feet long... Clothing, a small backpack, stuffed animals, a blanket, bags and sacks, books, toys, and such, strewn about after an obviously extremely violent head on collision. I walked forward, noticing that a number of Northbound vehicles had already stopped, at the far side of the collision area.
A number of men were already out of their own vehicles (I think one was a utility or maintenance crew) checking on the occupants of the vehicles. I approached the vehicle closest to me, noticing a man already talking with the female driver, who was alive, yet in shock, dazed, and confused. In her car I noticed an infant in the back, secured in a child seat, now wailing at the top of his lungs. Others had arrived, and knowing there were enough to help out, and that the work crew guys had already contacted 911, I told the man at the first car I would go back up the road and close it until police arrived.

I got back to my van, turned it around, and drove quickly up to the intersection with Pork Road, just about a mile away. I stopped a few hundred feet south of the intersection, with my van parked in the middle of the road, high beams on and flashers going.  I walked to the intersection, and then began directing traffic either left or right on Pork road. Five minutes later the first OPP cruiser came by, stopped to ask if I was closing the road for the collsion, then told me to keep it closed until an officer relieved me. Two more cruisers came by, a few emergency vehicles, finallly an ambulance, and after about 20 minutes, an OPP officer returned, thanked me, and let me go on my way...

Monday, March 21, 2011

Seven Weeks to Mother's Day

This link came up on the most recent blog of the day, causing me to think although it isn't quite yet Mother's Day, it is coming up soon enough. Is seven weeks enough time for people to improve their driving attitudes? Please love your Mother's and drive responsibly.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Distracted Driving - The New Killer

In virtuallly every jurisdiction that has attempted to reduce distracted driving through 'handheld' device bans and other similar legislation, the results are the same: Distracted driving is on the increase; collision, injury and death rates are on the rise; and device use hasn't been reduced.

Interestingly, the article points to other supposed distractions, such as drinking coffee, eating, and the like. Not one to be afraid of disagreeing with bullshit, I suggest that you, dear reader, try this experiment: First, get comfortable and watch a TV show that you really enjoy, then, while you are watching said TV show: A) call a friend and have a conversation on the telephone. B) apply make up, including foundation, eyeliner/shadow, and lipstick. C) Shave using gel and an instant razer.  D) Have a conversation with someone seated next to you. E) eat a donut. F) drink a coffee. G) listen to some music on the stereo.

While doing so, try and determinehow much of the show you are actually taking in... What you will clearly notice, is that talking on the telephone is by far the most distracting, probably followed closely by shaving or applying make up. Interestingly, having a conversation with someone seated in the room with you is probably nowhere as distracting as having a phone conversation, undoubtedly due to how different telephone and in person conversations are. Eating and drinking are probably accomplished virtually subconsciously while enjoying the show.

Now imagine you instead of watching a television show, you are driving a vehicle. There are things one can do which completely distract the driver from the task at hand (cellphone conversations, personal grooming, reading maps and newspapers) and some things which do not significantly distract the driver (talking with a passenger, eating and drinking (not at the same time), listening to the radio).

So figure out what are distractions to proper and safe driving, and eliminate them completely. Your life, and that of others, depends on it.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

TAC - Pictures of You

Monday, August 2, 2010

What's a measly hundred bucks worth really?!

So here I am dealing with a few indivuduals in what I categorically define as bullshit little squabbles, really meaningless crap involving ridiculous issues that no one should really give a rat's ass about, but here they are thinking its the end of the fucking world!

In all consideration to the few individuals involved, to the best of my knowledge the have never had the benefit of watching someone get killed up close, first hand, so perhaps they have nothing to balance their unresolved issues against.

I suppose watching people die is beneficial in a way, as it puts all of the crap that for some silly reason one thinks is important into much clearer perspective: I can assure you that no matter how important you think your issue is, it really is meaningless, because no matter what happens, NO ONE IS GOING TO FUCKING DIE AS A RESULT!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Coaching As Therapy

I am the assistant coach a gang of under thirteen year old kids playing soccer. I got into coaching two years ago, for my own son's (Rudi) under seven age group team, primarily because coaches were in short supply, and Tim (the head coach of that age group) was desperate for some decent help.

This year however, Rudi decided on baseball, and Marlo (Director of Tavistock Soccer) suggested I wasn't under any obligation to help out, but I could if I chose to. I told him that I would love to, but as I had no kids involved, I wouldn't mind moving to an older age group, which is how I ended up with the group I have.

Last night we headed out to play Thorndale, knowing that a large part of our contingent was headed of to the 'JUMP' program at Wilfrid Laurier, and would not be able to play. A few minutes before the start, we had eight plus a goalie, leaving us two players short. Brad (Head Coach) didn't want to concede the game, and had a brief talk with the other coach, telling him that we would simply play shorthanded, but not to give us any quarter, essentially.

We scrambled for another player from Tavistock, and found Clayton, the younger brother of one of our own players, who happily joined us from his under 11 team. So there we were, eight of ours and a goalie, plus a player from the next age group down, still one man short. I had already been making notes of who to play in what position, and Brad asked me if I was ready to run the game... I had never done so before this game, but was up for a bit of 'trial by fire' so to speak, and began assigning positions and getting our crew on the field.

At the end of the first half Thorndale was up three to two, but in the second period we tied, and then with five minutes to go in the game Mike scored again to bring us ahead by one, four to three, which we held til the end.

There isn't much to compare with that special feeling of pride I got when my crew won the game: The smiles from them as they came off the field. They knew they did a great job, and I let them know it.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Fallacy of the Term 'Accident'

There is really little need for the word 'accident' in common use of the english language, as by definition, an accident is something that has little chance of ever happening. Drownings, automobile collisions, aircraft and boat crashes generally have an apparant or deliberate cause, and cannot be considered accidental in nature. I rememeber being questioned by the defense attorney in a trial and recall illustrating the difference between the two:

DEFENSE: So Mr. Chiles, you indicated earlier that you had actually pressed 9-1-1 on your cell phone just moments before the accident occurred?

WITNESS: Ummm, what accident?

DEFENSE: The accident between the tan coloured SUV and the blue minivan...

WITNESS: Accident? There wasn't any accident.

DEFENSE: What do you mean there wasn't any accident? You spent the last two hours testifiying about the circumstances leading up to the accident between Mr. Doherty's minivan and my clients SUV...

WITNESS: Oh yes... Well that wasn't an accident at all, it was a collision.

"An accident is a specific, unidentifiable, unexpected, unusual and unintended external action which occurs in a particular time and place, with no apparent and deliberate cause but with marked effects." (From Wikipedia)

Don't piss me off by talking about "car accidents", because they virtually do not exist. If two cars collide, it is simply that, an automobile collision, as they virtually always have at least an apparent, if not deliberate cause.